News Center

Understanding Effects of Climate Change on California Watersheds

California relies on the Sierra Nevada snowpack for a significant portion of its water needs, yet scientists understand very little about how future changes in snowpack volume and timing will influence surface water and groundwater. Now researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are developing an advanced hydrologic model to study how climate change might affect California watersheds.

Berkeley Lab Aims for Big Breakthroughs in Water Technology

Berkeley Lab is launching a new research institute to focus resources on its growing portfolio of projects for water innovation – from nano-engineered desalination solutions to ultra-high resolution climate modeling for watershed predictions to novel groundwater management approaches.

Diamonds From the Deep: Study Suggests Water May Exist in Earth’s Lower Mantle

A new study, which included experiments at Berkeley Lab, suggests that water may be more common than expected at extreme depths approaching 400 miles and possibly beyond – within Earth’s lower mantle. The study explored microscopic pockets of a trapped form of crystallized water molecules in a sampling of diamonds.

Research Becomes Reality in Study of Fire Impact on Sonoma Water Resources

Catastrophic fires in Northern California burned more than 110,000 acres in Sonoma and Napa counties last month – including 8 percent of the Russian River watershed. Now with the rainy season underway Berkeley Lab’s research – which seeks to understand how the hydrology and microbiology of the surface and groundwater system respond to extreme events – has become even more critical.

Cool Roofs Have Water Saving Benefits Too

The energy and climate benefits of cool roofs have been well established: By reflecting rather than absorbing the sun’s energy, light-colored roofs keep buildings, cities, and even the entire planet cooler. Now a new study by Berkeley Lab has found that cool roofs can also save water by reducing how much is needed for urban irrigation.

Berkeley Lab Names Peter Fiske Director of Water-Energy Resilience Institute

Berkeley Lab has tapped Peter Fiske to be the director of its Water-Energy Resilience Institute, a new position that underscores the Lab’s commitment to developing solutions for the challenges associated with the interdependence of water and energy systems. Fiske will join Berkeley Lab on May 15.

Scientists Pull Water Out of Thin Air

Berkeley and MIT scientists have demonstrated breakthrough technology capable of generating liters of water out of dry air using the power of the sun. The development is a major step toward a future of personal, off-grid sources of water.

Glowing Crystals Can Detect, Cleanse Contaminated Drinking Water

Motivated by public hazards associated with contaminated sources of drinking water, a team of scientists has successfully developed and tested tiny, glowing crystals that can detect and trap heavy-metal toxins like mercury and lead.

Water-Energy Nexus New Focus of Berkeley Lab Research

Billions of gallons of water are used each day in the United States for energy production—for hydroelectric power generation, thermoelectric plant cooling, and countless other industrial processes, including oil and gas mining. And huge amounts of energy are required to pump, treat, heat, and deliver water. This interdependence of water and energy is the focus of a major new research effort at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Berkeley Lab Water Conservation Efforts Pay Off in Unexpected Ways

With California in an extreme drought, Berkeley Lab started a number of water conservation efforts two years ago. But when Chief Sustainability Officer John Elliott started seeing drops in water usage that were much larger than what could be attributed to the conservation projects, he realized there was something more at play.